Friends killed in avalanche described as men with personalities bigger than life

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. -- The Garden family isn't related to Bonney Lake police officer James Larsen by blood but they considered him family.

“It's a loss that puts a real hole in your heart, he was just like a son, I don't know how else to describe it,” Wayne Garden said.

Garden left behind two framed pictures of Larsen in front of the Bonney Lake Police Department on Monday. They are pictures that show Larsen’s personality.

The Bonney Lake police officer had a big personality and a bigger sense of humor.

He was the kind of person who made humorous matching T-shirts for everyone on vacation with him just to get a laugh.

Police officers who knew Larsen say he was the hardest-working person and a very popular officer among his co-workers but also in the community.

Larsen owned a concrete pouring business on the side and was successful at that as well.

But he was known for his love for the outdoors.

He loved hunting and snowmobiling. Friends say he was also in the process of getting a pilot’s license.

On the day Larsen died, he was hanging out with his snowmobiling clique that included 27-year- old Zachary Roundtree.

“Zachary was a kind, loving, give-the-shirt-off-his-back type of kid,” Zachary’s father, Curt Roundtree, said.

Zachary's father says his son and Larsen bonded over their love for the outdoors. The two were experienced snowmobilers but on Saturday at Esmeralda Peak, an avalanche took their lives.

“They are not a bunch of amateurs doing what they were doing, they put a lot of time and effort planning their trip,” Roundtree said.

Roundtree says his son may have died young but lived a full life.

“A while ago he told me, 'Dad I want to live life, life is not going to live me,'” Roundtree said.

Zachary had served in the Air Force for seven years traveling the world.

He was man who loved his family and friends, friends like Larsen.

People who knew the men say they both never took a day in their life for granted.

There will be a funeral procession on Tuesday to honor officer Larsen. The public is invited to stand outside Weeks Funeral home in Buckley at 4:30 p.m. Larsen's body will arrive at the funeral home at 5 p.m. His burial will be at a later date.

Zachary's family says they will be holding his funeral at the armory in Buckley but a date and time has not been worked out yet.